After a month long of exciting group matches, 34 teams bowed out of the Annual Kothbiro Football Tournament 40th edition and 16 teams remained to battle it out in the round of 16 knock-outs.
With defending champions South B already eliminated, the tournament’s last season to be played in Nov/Dec is ripe for a fresh champion.
Cheza Ukipenda fc easily demolished Experience fc by two goals in the first match with two goals in either half courtesy of Ivan Wava 11’and Maxwell Okinda 76’.
The second match pitting Wenyeji fc against their fiercest rivals Kingstone was billed as the great Kamukunji derby.
This match was also to be an acid test for Kothbiro’s security measures. With hundreds of highly charged fans trickling in for both sides the only expectation was for a tantalizing match and the two teams did not disappoint especially Wenyeji Fc.
In the first fifteen minutes, it was an all Wenyeji affair with attack after attack led by Tyrone Owino and Asman ‘Boban’ Buki but like a solid rock, Kingstone’s defense held on.
In the 16’ Kingstone got a sucker counterattack which got Wenyeji’s defence completely off-guard and a hard tackle by their defender Moses Muli resulted in a penalty. Stanley Goba went for glory but the penalty was easily blocked by the swift Wenyeji custodian Timothy ‘Kamwana’ Ngugi.
The tension filled match kept fans on their feet especially with Wenyeji’s ability to wade and maneuver easily on the muddy patch of the field. They were the better and stronger side but they just couldn’t find the back of the net. The final whistle was a welcome relief for the players but a pre-mature ending for the fans who were baying for more minutes of entertainment.
Post-match penalties were to decide the fate of the two teams. After each team lost two shots in the standard 5 penalties, Asman Buki was to be Wenyeji’s fall guy as he lost his shot in the resultant sudden death kicks.
Scorers for Wenyeji were Timothy Ngugi, Samuel Karori and Joseph Maya while Elias Otieno, Asman Buki and Tyrone Owino missed
The winners Kingstone had on the score sheet, Clifford Otieno, Brian Magonya, Eugene Oduao and Moses Muli whereas Waka Nelson and Stanley Goba failed to convert their shots.
Kingstone for the 2nd consecutive year marched into the quarter finals but knowing very well they were the cat with 9 lives in this match.
Tuesday 18th at 3pm two teams that have participated in nearly all editions of the tournament will clash in a mouth savoring match. Black Mamba from Kaloleni will play host to Umeme Bees from Ziwani. This match promises to add fuel to the fire that is the football rivalry that spans decades between the two neighbourhoods.
Black Mamba also a tournament favorite, topped their group by winning 3 matches and losing 1 while Umeme Bees managed 2 wins, one loss and a single draw.
The Bees who struggled without an all-out striker after Tusker fc new signing Clyde Senaji picked up an injury in a club friendly, have been hugely boosted by one of Kenya’s fastest rising talisman Tera Alwyn Chamla who flew in last week straight from Georgia where he won the top league with his club FC Saburtalo.
The Bees almost wholly consists of players who have played together since they were kids and also considered tournament’s title contender.
The round of 16 knock out matches are currently going on at the Ziwani Sports Ground daily from 3pm up until the 23rd of December where the tournament will take a Christmas break and resume on the 27th of December with the Quarter finals.